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The Mullahs’ Murder of Americans
Posted By Jamie Glazov On September 29, 2010 @ 12:25 am In FrontPage | 20 Comments
Frontpage Interview’s guest today is Michael A. Ledeen, a noted political analyst and a Freedom Scholar at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies. He is the author of The Iranian Time Bomb, Machiavelli on Modern Leadership and Tocqueville on American Character, and he is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal. His latest book is Accomplice to Evil: Iran and the War Against the West.
FP: Michael A. Ledeen, welcome back to Frontpage Interview.
I would like to talk to you today about how Iran is killing our troops and why nobody is really doing anything about it.
Share with us what is going on.
Ledeen: They have been killing Americans for 30 years. That’s what the chants of “Death to America!” are all about. From the Hezbollah suicide attacks on the US Embassy and Marine barracks in Beirut in the early 1980s, to the use of Iranian-made roadside bombs and mines in Iraq and Afghanistan by terrorists trained in Iran, to armed assaults against American troops by members of the Quds force, Iran is at war with us.
Every so often a military leader calls attention to this fact, but no publication, and no political leader, makes it a central theme of our national debate. Why? Because if you accept the fact that the Iranian regime is killing Americans almost every day, you are compelled to do something about it. And hardly anyone is willing to do anything effective. The only evil action by the mullahs that interests the West is the nuclear program, even though they have demonstrated very clearly that they don’t need nukes to murder and maim thousands of Americans.
FP: Why did Iran declare war on us? Why is it waging war on us? Is there anything we can do to get them to stop?
Ledeen: Declaring war on us is at the heart of the Iranian Revolution; war on the modern world was Khomeini’s dream. That’s why he called us The Great Satan. I don’t think we can talk them out of their core values. As Jonathan Swift said, you can’t reason a man out of something he didn’t reason himself into in the first place.
FP: Can you expand for us a bit on the process by which Iran kills our troops today? You mention Iranian-made roadside bombs and mines in Iraq and Afghanistan and armed assaults against American troops by members of the Quds force. Tell us some more what’s happening here.
Ledeen: Thousands of Americans have been killed and wounded. Those who plant the mines and bombs–the IEDs and the EFPs–are often trained by Iranians in Iran. And many of the suicide bombers are also trained by Iranians.
FP: Let us suppose someone like Newt Gingrich becomes President in 2012 and gets the courage to make this a central theme of our national debate. He calls you and says, “Michael, what can and should my administration do about this?” What do you tell him?
Ledeen: Support the Iranian opposition. Talk to them, ask them what they need, and then get it to them.
FP: What are the prospects, do you think, of Iranians overthrowing the tyranny that oppresses them? In other words, can a revolution against the Mullahs succeed in the near future?
Ledeen: Yes it can succeed. The overwhelming majority of Iranians want it to succeed, and it would have succeeded long since, IMHO, if the opposition had had some outside help. But no Western country has helped.
FP: Your thoughts on Obama?
Ledeen: I think of him like a typical Ivy League undergraduate, gulled by political correctness, who doesn’t understand American greatness, and instead blames us for most of the world’s problems and injustices. He wants to cut America down to size.
FP: Looking back at your career and experiences, what are some of the key lessons you have learned that you think are crucial for an American administration to absorb and act upon?
Ledeen: There’s a lot to learn, and I’ve only learned a small part of it. But the main thing is what Machiavelli says to leaders: you will be judged on whether you win or lose, and everybody hates a loser. Unfortunately we have a generation of Western leaders who prefer to be nice losers. The other big thing is that the world looks to America for guidance; there is no escape from our role as a superpower…like it or not.
FP: Your perspective on Russia’s role vis-à-vis Iran?
Ledeen: Hah! My favorite mystery. There is no doubt that the Russians played a significant role in the creation of the Islamic Republic’s terror apparatus and intelligence services. That said, we (or at least I) don’t know nearly enough. I can’t believe that the Russians want the mullahs to have nuclear weapons; they know that the ayatollahs are constantly stirring up jihad in the Balkans. So, for example, when I hear about this computer “worm” I wonder if it’s the Russians…I think the Russians work very hard to get control over at least part of the Islamic Republic, but the Iranians do not trust them, and so there’s a kind of “balance of paranoia.” It’s a great subject. Ask Pacepa about it.
FP: Your thoughts on the Left’s behavior in our terror war in general?
Ledeen: What can I say? Too many of them want us to lose.
FP: Are you optimistic or pessimistic about our civilization’s will and capacity to defend itself from radical Islam?
Ledeen: I’m an optimist by nature, as my father was. I cannot imagine losing to a group that is locked in the 12th century. We are more adaptive, and stronger by orders of magnitude. They will lose every major battle, and eventually they will lose standing with the umma. When Iran finally comes down, the whole world will change for the better, and we will have a much easier time of it. It’s maddening to see that our leaders don’t seem to see the war whole, and don’t agree that regime change in Tehran is the best single stroke in the war against the terror masters. As it has been from day one. Somebody said that.
FP: Michael A. Ledeen, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
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